Spotlites : 6th Aug – 14th Aug
Material : Delivery : Laughs :
Dr Ahmed is displaying a very creative idea he had on how to be alive, while dealing with death in ones life. So, really, you can say that this show is suitable to every single human being on Earth. Unless you have worked out how to avoid death? Which if you have, well, congratulations to you! For content reasons, I would recommend an adult to accompany folks aged between 13-16 yo, and would say that the material is not suitable for anyone younger than this. Death is an intense subject for many to wish to even think about, so further discussion after this show between friends and family, maybe something that you would need or want to do. But don’t worry, I doubt that anyone would leave this show feeling sad. In fact, if you have experienced death in your lifetime, you will most likely find the performance very refreshing.
The Dr uses a mixture of industry practiced techniques, self taught, in order to communicate a beautiful message. Being a real doctor allows for perspectives not often shared on stage; if it does not make you giggle and consider altering your medical visits, then you must never have been to the doctors before. As he walks us through his own learnings, we see diamond performance potential shine through. If you are not touched by the reason Dr Ahmeds works to be himself as a character for the purpose of teaching what he has to share, well, then you must not be human.
Ahmed is not perfect – his comedy timing needs slight attention, as potential funnies are swirled through a sea of energy; being lost within the time it takes for the bookends of the punchline to knock up on either side; The audience needs wee bit more of a chance to recognise and register sometimes, especially with puns. I prescribe two beats of silence on either side of the punchline. The singing needs about 10% more confidence, 8% of which should definitely be delivered through gently observing eyes; an optical drift, just long enough to catch a soul, before sweeping on again. I think if that were applied, the very last and most subtle of vocal jitters could smooth out and the sound would be worthy of a much larger stage show. I would love to see this Doctor find himself through his performances more, and would really like to watch him explore different expressions, like circus performance; as well as spoken word, poetically beat between operatic explosions. Definitely more performing please Dr Ahmed, but maybe less in the way of a stand up comedy style, in my opinion, as I think cabaret has your name written all over it.
My guest loved the experience and laughed regularly before summing up with words like “wow” and “this is the best show I have seen in the Fringe, ever! Actually? Yeah, no, actually, it is!” I would also love to see normal life doctors behave more like Dr Ahmed does on stage! Sometimes a dryness of character, displayed as professionalism is difficult to read, while people are not being academic and are being emotional. Which I guess is the kind of emotional intelligence we all need to interact with, when dealing with grief in ourselves or in another person. I feel like grief is an effected emotional state of pure disorganisation, caused by emotions which are too strong to be put behind our own thinking, of how we feel. It is like we feel to much to be able to think. We learn out of it, but not without great effort and practise, usually over much time. Confusion can be invented between human beings, while there is a delay in empathy between emotional communicative transactions. I think both parties need to be in a state of feeling, thinking, acting, then both feeling again etc, before learning and healing to occur; at least this is what I discovered during my own experience of living with death. Feeling first, then thinking about how to act in order to communicate that emotion, helps us with being. It is nice to see Dr Ahmed shake off the stiff upper lip and get more loose with his expression. It’s nice to know how people are thinking while they talk to you, and with professional type figures, well – it is just a pure joy to see them be in an emotional state too.
Lovely show, and thank you for the support you are providing towards Macmillan Cancer Research, Dr Ahmed. Keep inspiring man!
Reviewer : Bobbi McKenzie